Among the things that Bradley McDougald is thankful for this Thanksgiving are the coaches he had at Dublin Scioto High School.

Among the things that Bradley McDougald is thankful for this Thanksgiving are the coaches he had at Dublin Scioto High School.

The 2009 Scioto graduate has fond memories of his athletic career with the Irish, and he said his time at Scioto helped prepare him for his next steps in life, including playing football at the collegiate and NFL levels.

McDougald, who turned 26 on Nov. 15, is in his fourth season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The 6-foot-1, 209-pound safety had 51 tackles and one interception entering a game against the Kansas City Chiefs on Nov. 20.

He excelled in both football and basketball for the Irish.

"I give all the credit to my coaching staff (at Scioto) and all the guys who worked with me from academics to athletics," McDougald said. "Scioto did a good job of preparing me mentally and physically for what college was going to be like because my college transition was a lot smoother than some guys who came from different schools."

In his senior football season, McDougald lined up at running back or quarterback on offense, returned punts and kickoffs on special teams and played safety on defense. He finished with 432 yards rushing and six touchdowns on 87 carries and averaged 21 yards per punt return with one touchdown.

In his senior season with the boys basketball team, McDougald averaged 14 points and was named OCC-Cardinal Division Player of the Year as well as first-team all-district and honorable mention all-state.

He committed to play football at Ohio State, but later flipped his commitment to the University of Kansas.

"It wasn't that tough," McDougald said about his decision to play football collegiately. "I made an early decision to play football. Basketball is definitely one of my favorite (sports). We had a pretty good basketball team. I definitely had a great year my senior year."

McDougald finished his career at Kansas with 194 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, six interceptions, three forced fumbles and two sacks. He also saw some time on offense, catching 52 passes for 558 yards and one touchdown.

McDougald graduated from Kansas in 2013 and signed with the Chiefs as a free agent that same year. He played just one game before being released by the Chiefs.

"Kansas City is like a second home for me now," he said. "They gave me an opportunity to play and I'm very appreciative of it. Things didn't work out, but I'm excited to go back there (Nov. 20) and play."

McDougald was claimed off waivers by Tampa Bay on Nov. 6, 2013, and played three games with the Bucs that season.

He played 15 games in 2014, making starts in the final five contests, and had 46 tackles and one interception. Last season, he played all 16 games, making 15 starts, and finished with 87 tackles and two interceptions.

"Bradley has played very well," Buccaneers defensive coordinator Mike Smith said. "He had a great game (against San Francisco on Oct. 23). He was one of the guys that was in the discussion about getting a game ball. He had the pick, it was a great pick. He had another opportunity (for an interception) and I think he had seven hits. He (also) was in on seven tackles. When you have a safety that's that active, that's what you want."

McDougald has dedicated his career to his older brother, Brandon, who is a cancer survivor. Brandon lost a leg to the disease while in fifth grade.

"He is doing quite well right now," McDougald said. "He's definitely been a big motivator for a lot of my career. He was a big motivator growing up. I appreciate everything he has done for me."

McDougald still has family members who reside in the Columbus area, and he lives in central Ohio during the offseason. He plans on forming a youth football camp in Columbus and remains in contact with Scioto football coach Karl Johnson and former Irish boys basketball coach Tony Bisutti.

"You're certainly excited for guys who have aspirations to (play in the NFL) and have the talent to do that, and Bradley was definitely one of those guys that we knew would have a chance when he was going through high school," Johnson said.

McDougald is one of four Scioto graduates who have gone on to play in the NFL.

Nick Goings, a 1996 graduate, attended Coffman for three years before helping Scioto win the 1995 Division II state title in its inaugural season as the featured running back. He finished his prep career with 5,785 yards rushing and 82 touchdowns.

Goings, who was undrafted out of the University of Pittsburgh, signed as free agent with the Carolina Panthers in 2001. He played eight seasons with Carolina, leading the Panthers in rushing in 2004 with 821 yards.

Jay Richardson, a 2002 graduate, was a defensive lineman at Ohio State before being drafted by the Oakland Raiders in the fifth round in 2007. He played three seasons for the Raiders before going on to play for the Seattle Seahawks and New Orleans Saints. He hasn't played since being released by the Saints during the 2013 season.

Deji Olatoye, a 2009 graduate, was a defensive back for the University of Colorado and North Carolina A&T. He was signed by the Dallas Cowboys as a free agent in 2015 and currently is on the Atlanta Falcons' practice squad.

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